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Columbia Univeristy Medical Center
   Patient Rights & Responsibilities


Patient Rights

  • You have the right to excellent and accessible health care.

  • You have the right to be treated with respect, consideration and dignity.

  • You have the right to privacy.

  • You have the right to an advance directive.
  • Your medical records are confidential. Unless required by law, they will not be released outside of the Student Health Service without your written consent.

  • You are entitled to all available information regarding your diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and prognosis.

  • You are entitled to participate in all decisions regarding your health care, including the refusal of any services offered.

  • Whenever possible we will make your appointment with the clinician of your choice.

  • You have the right to refuse to participate in any research project that may be offered through the CUMC Student Health Service without in any way jeopardizing your right to care.

  • You have the right to give us feedback, both positive and negative, about any aspect of the Student Health Service. You may do this in person, through the Suggestion box in the waiting room, by email, or by calling Executive Director.

  • Our goal is to provide you with excellent medical care, both on site and by referral. We ask that you treat us with courtesy as we work together to meet your health needs.

Patient Responsibilities

  • Provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to your health.

  • Ask questions so that an understanding of the condition or problem is ensured.

  • Use prescriptions or medical devices for yourself only.

  • Report any unexpected changes in your condition or unexpected reaction to a medication to your clinician.

  • Follow the treatment plan recommended by the health care team responsible for your care.

  • Keep appointments or, if you are unable to do so for any reason, notify the student health service so that another student can be given that time slot.

  • Be responsible for your actions if you refuse treatment or do not follow the medical care provider’s instructions.

  • Be considerate of the rights of other patients and clinic staff, especially with regard to minimizing noise and refraining from smoking.

  • Be respectful of the property of others.

  • Provide requests for permission to release health records, in writing, to the Student Health Service.

  • Provide a responsible adult to transport you home from Student Health and remain with you for 24 hours, if required by your medical provider.

  • Ensure eligibility status prior to using services.

  • Assure that the financial obligations of your health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.

  • Inform clinician about any directive that could affect your care.

Hours of operation, services, staff, charges, insurance coverage and payment policies are outlined on the Student Health Service website,, and in the Student Health Service and Aetna insurance brochures available in the Student Health Service Office.

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